Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair
Directed by Steve Barker
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
What's in a villain? There's no doubt the Nazis basically personify evil. For years and years they've been cruelty fodder for video games, movies, books, you name it. With good reason too. The atrocities they committed can never be erased. Memories of them and what they did will always be burned into our brains. Yet, there is something else they were known for that fits into our genre -- dabbling with the occult. Yep, old Hitler sure wanted to cover all bases both natural and otherwise. Hopefully he's burning on the eternal embers right about now with all his like-minded pals taking time-outs only to goose-step through mine fields. But what if he had succeeded in contacting the other side in some way? What if his army harnessed the very power of the devil himself, and what if his reign were still alive, well, and killing at a remote outpost in the middle of the woods in Eastern Europe?
A group of mercenaries are hired to retrieve what they think may be gold from an underground Nazi bunker. But the folks who sent them there have other forms of riches in mind, like oh, say a machine that has turned a portion of the German army into superhuman soldiers that do not die. Speaking of not croaking, unfortunately for our mercs these Nazi zombie/ghosts are still around and still pretty crazed about serving the twisted will of their Führer. Can our wild bunch make it out in time, or will they end up more meat for the Nazi grinder? Either way this is a rock solid B-movie plot, and honestly I couldn't be happier.
First let me get this off of my chest: I love siege movies. They just tickle my damned fancy. From pseudo-siege flicks like Night of the Living Dead to Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, there's nothing like a good old fashioned tale about trying to keep the evil out. Even worse for our heroes, since the malevolence in this movie is of the ghostly variety, they can slip in and out pretty much at will. Sure you can say, well, if the ghosts can do that, why don't they all just slip in and kill everyone right away? Simple, because then we wouldn't have a friggin' movie to watch, jackass! Hello! B-movie here? Stop using logic!
Yet, even with its inconsistencies, Outpost manages to rise above other films of its kind like Death Watch and The Bunker by delivering not only legitimate scares and gore, but also rock solid direction, camera work, lighting, and acting. This is pretty much a sleeper hit waiting to be discovered. When you see it on the shelf in your video store, give it more than just a quick look. Lord knows it's worth far more than that which brings me to the most disappointing aspect of this DVD package: the special features.
In terms of supplemental material all we get are seven deleted scenes that total out to about ten minutes of excised goodies including an alternate opening. Come on, guys! Not even a making-of featurette? I've seen far worse films get the royal treatment. What a missed opportunity.
If you're looking for a claustrophobic tale riddled with things that go bump in the night, then look no further than Outpost. It's a little film that manages to climb effortlessly to the top of 2008's direct-to-video horror crop!
4 out of 5
2 out of 5
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